I was standing on a street corner when a headless horseman handed me this. Here's what the alleged script for the new Channel 4 Famine sitcom might look like the horse told me.
Read the extract below.
Characters: Sir Charles Trevelyan: The man who decided to let the Irish eat grass.
Queen Victoria: The Famine Queen. (In 1848 Queen Victoria – who donated a few pounds to help the starving millions – knighted Trevelyan for his Irish policies.)
Jonathan Swift: Irish writer and satirist who is out of time here, but never mind. Make sure to read his satire “A Modest Proposal.”
Scene 1: The conferring of knighthood on Trevelyan.
Queen Victoria: Trevelyan, loved your quote "The greatest evil we have to face is not the the famine but the moral evil of the Irish people."
Also your line that "Famine is as an effective mechanism for reducing surplus population" as well as "the judgement of God."
Trevelyan: Thank you Ma’am. I have many more comments like that and some funny famine lines too!
Victoria: Sounds good! Arise Sir Charles Trevelyan: You have served me well
What’s new with the Famine jokes?
Trevelyan: Well your majesty, I have come up with a new Christmas ditty for the Irish. Instead of “Santa Claus is coming tonight” why don’t we try get them singing in their hovels “Famine ships are coming tonight”?
And then the chorus from their landlords “We’re coming to take you away ha ha?”
What do you think your majesty?
Victoria: Oh Charles you are so funny! Tell me, is it true they eat grass when they are hungry?
Trevelyan: Yes, Ma’am, hilarious. Green mouths we call ‘em. Everything over there is green it seems Not exactly Foie Gras (guffaws).
Victoria: Quite! But are they being taxed on this grass? I mean it does belong to us.
Trevelyan Excellent idea your majesty – a tax on grass. Why the peasants have enjoyed grass meals for free. Why didn't I think of it? Let’s give those bloody Papists grass instead of mass! (chortles)
Victoria: Funny line Sir Charles! Congrats again Charles. You have enough to think about getting all that food out of Ireland. We need more here for our lords and ladies and our banquets.
Trevelyan: Indeed Ma'am. True it is, far too much food remaining over there for those ignorant Papists – cream scones anyone?.
Victoria: Don’t mind if I do - mmm, scrumptious. (turning to Swift) Ah Dean Swift, as an Irishman what is your solution?
Swift: I have a modest proposal your majesty.
Victoria, Trevelyan together: Super, let's hear it old boy.
Swift: Let the Irish eat their own children. That would stop the starvation and quickly cut the population in half.
Victoria: Excellent old chap, superb – Trevelyan see to it. Channel 4 will love this ending.
Trevelyan: Ah yes, the perfect final solution, well done Swifty.
* The above "script" is IrishCentral's version of what a Famine comedy might look like.